Cinderella Tales

Common Core Standard

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.2 Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text. (from

Cinderella Tales

Cinderella tales are well-known in many cultures around the world. It has been estimated that more than 1,000 different versions exist today. The earliest record of a similar tale is from China in the middle of the 9th century A.D. The story, with many variations, usually involves a young girl (or boy) in a difficult situation. A benevolent figure helps the young person, and there are usually elements of magic. The story ends with a reversal of fortune for the main character.

Cinderella, the common name for these tales in English, has become a description often used for people who experience a similar rags to riches story. It has become a cultural reference that children should know and understand.

There are many delightful books that offer the chance for children to support their school learning at home by comparing, contrasting, discussing, summarizing, and analyzing the Cinderella story. Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Bubba, the Cowboy Prince, Helen Ketteman
  2. Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters,John Steptoe
  3. Seriously, Cinderella is So Annoying! Trisha Speed Shaskan
  4. Yeh-Shen, A Cinderella Story From China, Ai-Ling Louie
  5. Prince Cinders, Babette Cole
  6. The Persian Cinderella, Shirley Climo

These are just a few from a wide selection of wonderful Cinderella stories. Read them together to discuss similarities, differences, and preferences. Afterwards, write and illustrate your own Cinderella story as a family.


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